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View Full Version : Are Walt and Dusty on the same page?



Ron Madden
08-29-2011, 12:53 PM
I've been wanting to ask this question for awhile now.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/jon_heyman/08/29/award.leaders/

Joseph
08-29-2011, 01:01 PM
I do not think they are. As the article states guys like Cairo and Lewis are getting too much playing time during a season that is lost. This should be glorified spring training at this point, or at least after September 1st. See what a guy can do when given a solid week of starts. I don't agree that Alonso is not a potential LFer next season. As Doug has stated he is not going to win a Gold Glove, but he is not the brutal OFer we've seen in limited appearances thus far. There are two guys capable of winning Gold Gloves in that OF, we can have some deficiencies in LF.

Dusty and Walt need to agree that the future is now and forget this season for the most part.

757690
08-29-2011, 01:13 PM
I'm not too happy with Lewis getting so much playing time, but I don't put too much weight into what Heyman reports, unless it's about the Yankees or Red Sox. lol

Phil in BG
08-29-2011, 01:25 PM
We all know how Dusty is with his vets. There have been so many times he should have played the younger guy and this is certainly the time he should be looking at them.

kaldaniels
08-29-2011, 01:31 PM
As an aside, Votto not being top ten MVP is total garbage.

reds1869
08-29-2011, 01:42 PM
As an aside, Votto not being top ten MVP is total garbage.

Especially when he has Craig Kimbrel in his top ten. Kimbrel is having a great year no doubt, but MVP?

kaldaniels
08-29-2011, 01:48 PM
Especially when he has Craig Kimbrel in his top ten. Kimbrel is having a great year no doubt, but MVP?

Heyman trying to be the smartest guy in the room with that one. But he failed at it.

Hoosier Red
08-29-2011, 01:50 PM
We all know how Dusty is with his vets. There have been so many times he should have played the younger guy and this is certainly the time he should be looking at them.

Really? With the Reds?
Is it too much to ask for a few examples before it's trotted out as known fact?

I know Corey Patterson and Wily Taveras played a lot, but who were they holding back?

Similarly, though you can make an argument that Cabrera and Gonzalez shouldn't have played as much as they did, does it matter that there was no one at SS who could reliably fill the job full time?

Actually going back to his Cub days, was there a guy who turned out to be a true prospect who sat because Dusty was playing Jose Macias?

I remember a lot of people at the time pointed out such luminaries as Hee Sop Choi and Matt Murton as being held back in favor of veterans, but I don't remember anyone of consequence who was held back by Dusty and then went on to show they were a star elsewhere.

Hoosier Red
08-29-2011, 01:53 PM
As to the question of whether they're on the same page or not, I don't think Hernandez would have been pulled back off of waivers if they weren't of one mind.

We may disagree with the collective brain trust, but I don't think it disagrees with itself.

cumberlandreds
08-29-2011, 01:58 PM
As for the OP question,no I don't think they are on the same page. I thought it was quite obvious that when Alonso was brought up he was to play everyday,no matter what happened defensively. Dusty sticks him LF in Wrigely Field and when Alonso screws up he's nailed to the bench. I think Dusty is out to protect his job,period. He knows if these young guys like Alonso,Frazier and Sappelt bomb at this level, this month and the Reds go down the tank with a sub .500 record his job is in real jeopardy. So he plays his vets in hope staying above .500 with them and thus in all probability saving his job. This is where Jocketty needs to order him to play these guys everyday. You have to see if they are the real deal or not. If Dusty balks then you find someone else to manage the team. Quite honestly I think this team needs someone else anyway so it wouldn't hurt my feelings if that happened.

Roy Tucker
08-29-2011, 02:26 PM
It's odd that Lewis and Cairo are getting PT so I wonder what's with Dusty. Lewis is extremely meh as a player while I'll admit that Cairo has been valuable. Free Yonder.

But its also odd that a very valuable arm in Chapman is a one-trick pony as set-up guy and isn't in the minors learning to be a.) a starter, or b.) a closer. And why Hernandez wasn't traded and Meseraco called up. WJ seems asleep at the switch.

So both Dusty and WJ are both doing things that are.... odd. Plus there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of communication going on. This team has been off-kilter all year and I think its started at the top.

mdccclxix
08-29-2011, 02:34 PM
My question to the Dusty bashers is, what about the other 22 guys on the team? If Sappelt, Alonso and Frazier are costing them games, how do they feel about going all in with these young players?

What about the casual fan (95% of them are)? Do they want a winner? I say heck yeah they do.

I'd be starting Lewis over Sappelt 7 times out of 10 as well, if I thought winning was my job. Walt and Dusty together are working on building a winning franchise. Sub .500 is not acceptable. In fact, avoiding it is right near the top of the list, if I'm guessing. It's not just about Dusty's job, it's about attendance, continuity of success, reputation, and class.

Finally, this is still a meritocracy, right? Like Dusty has addressed, this recent crop of players are not well rounded players yet, few are. Let's let them earn their way into a winning team's lineup, not drag a winning team down.

Joseph
08-29-2011, 02:45 PM
My question to the Dusty bashers is, what about the other 22 guys on the team? If Sappelt, Alonso and Frazier are costing them games, how do they feel about going all in with these young players?

What about the casual fan (95% of them are)? Do they want a winner? I say heck yeah they do.

I'd be starting Lewis over Sappelt 7 times out of 10 as well, if I thought winning was my job. Walt and Dusty together are working on building a winning franchise. Sub .500 is not acceptable. In fact, avoiding it is right near the top of the list, if I'm guessing. It's not just about Dusty's job, it's about attendance, continuity of success, reputation, and class.

Finally, this is still a meritocracy, right? Like Dusty has addressed, this recent crop of players are not well rounded players yet, few are. Let's let them earn their way into a winning team's lineup, not drag a winning team down.


The question is, is a winning team one above 500 or is it a team that is truly in contention for the playoffs? To me its one that is truly in contention for the playoffs, which this team is not. And does a player who is young cost a team games just because they are young? No, not necessarily. Not when you are running medicrity out there in its stead. Lets face it, Fred Lewis is the epitome of mediocrity, the definition of 4th outfielder. I want to know if Yonder or Sappelt can be anything. Hell thus far Yonders bat makes up for his D, or lack there of, and Sappelts D offsets the difference in BA and numbers between he and Lewis.

In short though young guys should earn their way onto a winning team, this however, is not one.

Ghosts of 1990
08-29-2011, 02:49 PM
With the non-trade of Hernandez, how can you blame anyone but the GM? It isn't like Dusty was in the room fielding the calls and said 'keep Ramon'. That's on the GM. And that shows that the GM is somewhat on Dusty's page of keeping veterans, playing veterans until the bitter end to try and accomplish something salvageable in terms of record this year.

It could also be ownership telling them what to do. If they want to draw well until the end of the year--or even respectably--they'll need to win and win often to even keep a fair amount of butts in the seats at Great American. Maybe ownership said to hang on to Ramon for this reason. That's the only thing that would even kind of make sense at this point.

mbgrayson
08-29-2011, 02:54 PM
Let's look at some stats!

August 2011:

Fred Lewis, age 30: 44 PAs, 4 hits (all singles), 5 BBs, 1 RBI, .103/.205/.103 for an OPS of .308.

Yonder Alonso, age 24: 32 PA's, 11 hits (2 doubles, 3 HRs, 6 singles), 6 BBs, and 8 RBIs, for a line of .423/.531/.846 and an OPS of 1.377.

Even given that Lewis is a better fielder, Alonso is 1000 OPS points higher this month, and that will outweigh the fielding difference by a good bit. Playing Alonso fits better with even the 'win now' philosophy than Lewis does. Alonso has had 6 total chances in left field this month. It is just plain wrong for Dusty to have written him off in left so quickly.

RedsManRick
08-29-2011, 02:58 PM
Finally, this is still a meritocracy, right? Like Dusty has addressed, this recent crop of players are not well rounded players yet, few are. Let's let them earn their way into a winning team's lineup, not drag a winning team down.

In my opinion, demanding a player play his way in to the starting lineup is simply a poor way to make a decision. The reality of any player's performance is that a relatively sample of opportunities (plate appearances or fielding chances) is going to be subject to massive amounts of variability and opens the door for a significant injection of expectation bias. Yonder Alonso is a perfect example. He played a very poor LF given a few chances. But he's also hitting .467/.556/.867 in relatively few chances. Maybe the judgment is scouting based and not stats. But even then, a scout will tell you that you need more than a handful of opportunities to get a good read on a guy's skills.

If you don't know if a guy is capable of being starter, then some spot starts won't tell you. If Dusty wants to work those guys in for some legitimate management purpose (e.g. acclimation to the majors, limiting to favorable situations to build confidence, etc.), great. But if it's just waiting for guys to "earn" it, that strikes me as a bad idea.

Furthermore, while I'm not generally a fan of the pressure argument (as guys who make this far are the ones who have already shown themselves to be capable of handling a fair amount of pressure), I can only imagine that such a situation can lead a guy to try and do more than he's capable of.

In any event, I sure hope they get on the same page. If it really is an issue, I would hope that Castellini would step in get things sorted out.

And yeah, no Votto in top 10 for MVP is just silly.

redsmetz
08-29-2011, 02:59 PM
It's a tremendously vague piece from Heymann. For instance, about Hernandez he writes, "Rival execs say they also would have traded Ramon Hernandez before the July 31 trade deadline and employed Devin Mesoraco as catcher." I only noticed that after going back & re-reading it. Personally I buy what Jocketty said a week before that, that he believed Ramon was more valuable to the Reds for the remainder of the season. At that point, just 4 games back, it was plausible. Who foresaw the huge funk we would hit matched by the incredibly good run the Brewers would have, separating from us and others in the division? I'd said it before, if we had to have had a major down month, it would have been better to have had a month earlier. Had that occurred, I think Hernandez would have been moved. But it's too simple for "rival execs" to say that. Few know what was offered, what was available, etc. Same for his mention of pulling him back. Most here agreed, there was no reason to give Ramon away.

Are there disputes between the manager and the FO? I'm sure there are. I have even heard inklings that some players are dissatisfied with Baker, and I'm sure that's a real possibility. But Baker's first job is to win games. This club can ill afford to look at a season as a lost one and not care about how many games they win. After a decade plus of losing seasons, the narrative can't be "oh that was last year." If they want to put seats in the ballpark, they have to demonstrate that this season was an aberration and not a return to the bad old days that preceded last season.

And I think, since this is the topic du jour, it behooves the club to find a place for Alonso to get playing time over the balance of the season.

mdccclxix
08-29-2011, 03:45 PM
The question is, is a winning team one above 500 or is it a team that is truly in contention for the playoffs? To me its one that is truly in contention for the playoffs, which this team is not. And does a player who is young cost a team games just because they are young? No, not necessarily. Not when you are running medicrity out there in its stead. Lets face it, Fred Lewis is the epitome of mediocrity, the definition of 4th outfielder. I want to know if Yonder or Sappelt can be anything. Hell thus far Yonders bat makes up for his D, or lack there of, and Sappelts D offsets the difference in BA and numbers between he and Lewis.

In short though young guys should earn their way onto a winning team, this however, is not one.

Each time I watch a game with Yonder starting there are questions raised about his defense. At 1st, he a step back from Votto, for certain. He's allowed in more than his share of runs. Likewise with Sappelt. He takes poor routes to the ball and teams will run their old slow guys on him even. The word is known about Sappelt, it appears. The Pirates made him look silly. His arm is really a touch below average, so even if it's on the money, it's going to sail for longer than it should. He may get to many balls with speed, but he is also just average at routes. Near the wall, he's too short for the great play. I just really think he's a 5th OF type and wish he could play infield so he could get in some more AB's. No way I give him a spot over Heisey or even Frazier in LF next year. I'm not saying he can't improve, but Sappelt is really not likely to be a good defender. Offensively, his bat is interesting, but lacks power. It wouldn't surprise me if Dusty and Co already have their interpretation of Sappelt and Alonso and don't need to see them every day.

dougdirt
08-29-2011, 03:48 PM
Each time I watch a game with Yonder starting there are questions raised about his defense. At 1st, he a step back from Votto, for certain. He's allowed in more than his share of runs. Likewise with Sappelt. He takes poor routes to the ball and teams will run their old slow guys on him even. The word is known about Sappelt, it appears. The Pirates made him look silly. His arm is really a touch below average, so even if it's on the money, it's going to sail for longer than it should. He may get to many balls with speed, but he is also just average at routes. Near the wall, he's too short for the great play. I just really think he's a 5th OF type and wish he could play infield so he could get in some more AB's. No way I give him a spot over Heisey or even Frazier in LF next year. I'm not saying he can't improve, but Sappelt is really not likely to be a good defender. Offensively, his bat is interesting, but lacks power. It wouldn't surprise me if Dusty and Co already have their interpretation of Sappelt and Alonso and don't need to see them every day.

I will strongly disagree with you on Sappelt's defense. His range is better than anyone on the team short of Stubbs. He has better range than Heisey does. I don't doubt that for a second. His arm isn't the same as Heisey's is. But his range at worst, equals out that difference.

bucksfan2
08-29-2011, 03:53 PM
My question to the Dusty bashers is, what about the other 22 guys on the team? If Sappelt, Alonso and Frazier are costing them games, how do they feel about going all in with these young players?

What about the casual fan (95% of them are)? Do they want a winner? I say heck yeah they do.

I'd be starting Lewis over Sappelt 7 times out of 10 as well, if I thought winning was my job. Walt and Dusty together are working on building a winning franchise. Sub .500 is not acceptable. In fact, avoiding it is right near the top of the list, if I'm guessing. It's not just about Dusty's job, it's about attendance, continuity of success, reputation, and class.

Finally, this is still a meritocracy, right? Like Dusty has addressed, this recent crop of players are not well rounded players yet, few are. Let's let them earn their way into a winning team's lineup, not drag a winning team down.

I think I agree 100% with this. A couple of my thoughts based upon the Dusty.

- Sappelt and Frazier have been given a shot to play. Both have yet to really impress or force themselves into the lineup. Frazier has been inconsistent and Sappelt has had some serious gaffs out in the field and at the plate. The only reason people are demanding they play is because they were are considered prospects. I want my prospects to earn their way into the lineup.

- The Reds still control Fred Lewis. Why not give him an extra look to see if he is worth keeping around next season. I have yet to see either Sappelt or Frazier really prove that they deserve the PT in LF over Lewis.

- Alonso doesn't have a position besides 1b. Joey Votto looks to be a .950-1.000 OPS type of bat. Your not going to give Alonso time over Votto this year.

- From the reports I have seen I am fairly certain the Reds will offer him arb and he will turn it down. In order to trade Hernandez you would have to get more than the supplemental picks in return. Krivsky built a couple of good drafts based upon this.

- The Reds have had one winning season in over a decade. If they finish this year strong you can build off that going into next season. With the vast majority of the team going to be back heading into 2012, building upon 2011 may just be important.

mdccclxix
08-29-2011, 03:58 PM
In my opinion, demanding a player play his way in to the starting lineup is simply a poor way to make a decision. The reality of any player's performance is that a relatively sample of opportunities (plate appearances or fielding chances) is going to be subject to massive amounts of variability and opens the door for a significant injection of expectation bias. Yonder Alonso is a perfect example. He played a very poor LF given a few chances. But he's also hitting .467/.556/.867 in relatively few chances. Maybe the judgment is scouting based and not stats. But even then, a scout will tell you that you need more than a handful of opportunities to get a good read on a guy's skills.

If you don't know if a guy is capable of being starter, then some spot starts won't tell you. If Dusty wants to work those guys in for some legitimate management purpose (e.g. acclimation to the majors, limiting to favorable situations to build confidence, etc.), great. But if it's just waiting for guys to "earn" it, that strikes me as a bad idea.

Furthermore, while I'm not generally a fan of the pressure argument (as guys who make this far are the ones who have already shown themselves to be capable of handling a fair amount of pressure), I can only imagine that such a situation can lead a guy to try and do more than he's capable of.

In any event, I sure hope they get on the same page. If it really is an issue, I would hope that Castellini would step in get things sorted out.

And yeah, no Votto in top 10 for MVP is just silly.

In a spot starting role Yonder has everyone clamoring for more. If he had 3 good games in LF, you can bet he'd have had at least 10 more starts since then, but it was just that disastrous. Maybe it was a small sample, but it was a very poor sample.

This team has failed expectations by and large, so it needs to continue to prove itself for a while longer. This step over .500 was huge, and you can tell the team needs to see itself in a winning light. There is a fragility to the psyche of this team and having Yonder look so poorly out there was a direct violation of who this team wants to be. So I think that plays into his early departure out there.

Secondly, if you pay attention to Phillips, he hates it when these young guys miss the cutoff, take a lazy route to the ball, or make an otherwise unprofessional play that puts the team in a bad spot. That tells me something.

I look at some players that have "earned" their way on the team by beating another player out:

Votto
Leake
Cozart
Hanigan
Heisey

And some that have more or less been made way for:

Bruce
Volquez
Stubbs

I can't really see where having to earn a job has created poor decisions by the Reds. I might have quibbled about getting Votto up a little earlier in 2007, but I can't argue with the results, for example. Plain and simple, Alonso is having a hard time earning a spot on this team. If anything, that is a superlative comment about Votto.

mdccclxix
08-29-2011, 04:05 PM
I will strongly disagree with you on Sappelt's defense. His range is better than anyone on the team short of Stubbs. He has better range than Heisey does. I don't doubt that for a second. His arm isn't the same as Heisey's is. But his range at worst, equals out that difference.

You can't run from 1st to 3rd on Heisey on a routine base hit to LF, you just can't. It isn't a double when the happens either. What I saw was two average to slow players running on Sappelt as a direct challenge to his weak arm. I don't know how you could measure the difference between Heisey's range and arm vs Sappelt's range and arm, but it's really not even close if you ask me. Heisey has always made the play on the ball and definitely has a strong arm. You can't say either one about Sappelt so far.

Roy Tucker
08-29-2011, 04:37 PM
Secondly, if you pay attention to Phillips, he hates it when these young guys miss the cutoff, take a lazy route to the ball, or make an otherwise unprofessional play that puts the team in a bad spot. That tells me something.



Funny you should mention this. I was at the game on Friday night. Two plays stood out from a teammate reaction standpoint.

1.) Chapman pitching in the bottom of the 8th - 1 out, men on 1st and 2nd. a comebacker right to Chapman. He wheels and throws to Frazier at second for the force. Gomes is coming like a freight train and wipes out Frazier who doesn't throw and complete the DP. Chapman looked like he was going to blow a gasket and stomps around the mound.

2.) Bottom of the 8th - Sappelt on 2nd with one down. Renteria hits a liner up the middle. I thought he'd easily score. But for whatever reason, he breaks back to 2nd before going to 3rd where Berry holds him. Renteria at 1st looked like he was going to blow a gasket and stands there looking at Sappelt and shaking his head. Next 2 Reds batters K and they don't scrore.

I don't know if it was just because I was at the game, but its been a while since I've seen visible reactions on the field like that.

RedsManRick
08-29-2011, 04:42 PM
I can't really see where having to earn a job has created poor decisions by the Reds. I might have quibbled about getting Votto up a little earlier in 2007, but I can't argue with the results, for example. Plain and simple, Alonso is having a hard time earning a spot on this team. If anything, that is a superlative comment about Votto.

Players should have to earn their jobs. But asking them to do so via an extremely brief major "try out" is a poor way to do it. Player performance simply fluctuates way too much, naturally so, over a handful of games for it to be a good indicator of what to expect from a a guy moving forward. Great players can play poorly for a few days. Poor ones can play great. And you can't tell which is which when it's happening if that's all you're going on. Nothing that happens over a few games is going to tell you something about a guy's readiness that you don't already know from his career to date.

If you want a guy to audition for a job at the major league level, you have to give him sufficient opportunity to show what he can do -- and what he can't. 2-3 starts a week and the odd PH appearance is not sufficient.

redsmetz
08-29-2011, 05:20 PM
Funny you should mention this. I was at the game on Friday night. Two plays stood out from a teammate reaction standpoint.

1.) Chapman pitching in the bottom of the 8th - 1 out, men on 1st and 2nd. a comebacker right to Chapman. He wheels and throws to Frazier at second for the force. Gomes is coming like a freight train and wipes out Frazier who doesn't throw and complete the DP. Chapman looked like he was going to blow a gasket and stomps around the mound.

2.) Bottom of the 8th - Sappelt on 2nd with one down. Renteria hits a liner up the middle. I thought he'd easily score. But for whatever reason, he breaks back to 2nd before going to 3rd where Berry holds him. Renteria at 1st looked like he was going to blow a gasket and stands there looking at Sappelt and shaking his head. Next 2 Reds batters K and they don't scrore.

I don't know if it was just because I was at the game, but its been a while since I've seen visible reactions on the field like that.

I was at the ballgame and I felt his reaction was being mad at himself for making a low throw, which was the overall issue.

dougdirt
08-29-2011, 06:07 PM
You can't run from 1st to 3rd on Heisey on a routine base hit to LF, you just can't. It isn't a double when the happens either. What I saw was two average to slow players running on Sappelt as a direct challenge to his weak arm. I don't know how you could measure the difference between Heisey's range and arm vs Sappelt's range and arm, but it's really not even close if you ask me. Heisey has always made the play on the ball and definitely has a strong arm. You can't say either one about Sappelt so far.

It is simple.... A left fielder is going to have a chance to catch 300 balls in a season. A left fielder is going to realistically hold what, 25 runners a season? Give me the range over the arm.

And I can absolutely say Sappelt has the range so far. I have watched him play the last three seasons, over 200 times. Sappelt has PLUS range in center field. Much less in left. Much like Alonso, you simply haven't seen enough to get the full picture on his actual abilities.

Ron Madden
08-30-2011, 02:59 AM
I think I agree 100% with this. A couple of my thoughts based upon the Dusty.

- Sappelt and Frazier have been given a shot to play. Both have yet to really impress or force themselves into the lineup. Frazier has been inconsistent and Sappelt has had some serious gaffs out in the field and at the plate. The only reason people are demanding they play is because they were are considered prospects. I want my prospects to earn their way into the lineup.

- The Reds still control Fred Lewis. Why not give him an extra look to see if he is worth keeping around next season. I have yet to see either Sappelt or Frazier really prove that they deserve the PT in LF over Lewis.

- Alonso doesn't have a position besides 1b. Joey Votto looks to be a .950-1.000 OPS type of bat. Your not going to give Alonso time over Votto this year.

- From the reports I have seen I am fairly certain the Reds will offer him arb and he will turn it down. In order to trade Hernandez you would have to get more than the supplemental picks in return. Krivsky built a couple of good drafts based upon this.

- The Reds have had one winning season in over a decade. If they finish this year strong you can build off that going into next season. With the vast majority of the team going to be back heading into 2012, building upon 2011 may just be important.

Isn't that the same bag o' goods they sold us last offseason?

Ron Madden
08-30-2011, 03:15 AM
In a spot starting role Yonder has everyone clamoring for more. If he had 3 good games in LF, you can bet he'd have had at least 10 more starts since then, but it was just that disastrous. Maybe it was a small sample, but it was a very poor sample.

This team has failed expectations by and large, so it needs to continue to prove itself for a while longer. This step over .500 was huge, and you can tell the team needs to see itself in a winning light. There is a fragility to the psyche of this team and having Yonder look so poorly out there was a direct violation of who this team wants to be. So I think that plays into his early departure out there.

Secondly, if you pay attention to Phillips, he hates it when these young guys miss the cutoff, take a lazy route to the ball, or make an otherwise unprofessional play that puts the team in a bad spot. That tells me something.

I look at some players that have "earned" their way on the team by beating another player out:

Votto
Leake
Cozart
Hanigan
Heisey

And some that have more or less been made way for:

Bruce
Volquez
Stubbs

I can't really see where having to earn a job has created poor decisions by the Reds. I might have quibbled about getting Votto up a little earlier in 2007, but I can't argue with the results, for example. Plain and simple, Alonso is having a hard time earning a spot on this team. If anything, that is a superlative comment about Votto.

Just an honest question here. Who did Bruce or Stubbs knock out of the lineup that should have been or should be starting ahead of them?

Ron Madden
08-30-2011, 04:55 AM
The rift between Dusty and Walt from redlegnation.com

http://redlegnation.com/2011/08/29/the-baker-jocketty-rift/

KronoRed
08-30-2011, 05:20 AM
The rift between Dusty and Walt from redlegnation.com

http://redlegnation.com/2011/08/29/the-baker-jocketty-rift/

If the situation is as bad as this then Walt is showing he is a bad GM by not firing Dusty out the nearest airlock.

I wonder what big Bob thinks.

GAC
08-30-2011, 05:24 AM
Just an honest question here. Who did Bruce or Stubbs knock out of the lineup that should have been or should be starting ahead of them?

Same way for Cozart too. Sure, he was playing solid ball at the AAA level, but that is still not a proven at the ML level. It was more Janish's terrible play (and ER's injury at the time) that forced the hand of this management and gave him the opportunity. And Cozart did well for the brief time he was here, but it was only 37 ABs before the unfortunate injury. The jury is still out on him though.

I'm just as "perplexed" as some are on here when it comes to some of Dusty's decisions on who to play. We want to see some of the younger players given a greater opportunity, as well as gain some major league level experience; but Baker's #1 job, as a manager, is to win as many games as he can. Even when the team is possibly out of the running (though not yet mathematically). Last week he said he wanted the Reds to finish strong. That was a "signal" to all that he's going to do whatever it takes to win as many games as he possibly can regardless that the Reds probably don't have a chance.

This is a team that is currently hovering at .500. There's no way we're going to catch the Brewers. I've set a lower goal that is attainable, and that's taking over 2nd place and passing the Cards who are only 3 games ahead of us. Yeah, that doesn't sound like much, but it would be taking a down year and finishing on a somewhat positive note.

This team has been "snake bit" this year. And injuries have played a role. We started the season with two of our SPs on the DL, and a third struggling to recover from mono. We've had various injuries in the bullpen. Sadly, Janish, as well as ER, played down to their expectations at SS. We call up Cozart and he's lost for the rest of the season. And the "killer" IMO is Scott Rolen whose been out the majority of the year. Not only did we lose an AS defensive 3bman, but our #4 hitter (clean up guy, run producer). Now Cairo did an admirable job, but it still set this team back. Then we lost Heisey (due back later this week).

All the above is not the fault of Baker or Jocketty. But I do fault them for calling up guys like Alonso and Sappelt - especially Alonso - if you're not going to give them adequate playing time and more importantly... show some friggin' patience if either struggles at adjusting to a new environment. Both are also probably pressing somewhat too because they want to make a good impression.

And this experiment to try Alonso at 3B is simply laughable. Why now? You don't try these experiments at the major league level with a rookie who has no experience at the position whatsoever. It's stupid and reeks of desperation.

Phil in BG
08-30-2011, 08:54 AM
Really? With the Reds?
Is it too much to ask for a few examples before it's trotted out as known fact?

I know Corey Patterson and Wily Taveras played a lot, but who were they holding back?

Similarly, though you can make an argument that Cabrera and Gonzalez shouldn't have played as much as they did, does it matter that there was no one at SS who could reliably fill the job full time?

Actually going back to his Cub days, was there a guy who turned out to be a true prospect who sat because Dusty was playing Jose Macias?

I remember a lot of people at the time pointed out such luminaries as Hee Sop Choi and Matt Murton as being held back in favor of veterans, but I don't remember anyone of consequence who was held back by Dusty and then went on to show they were a star elsewhere.

I was actually thinking of Heisey last year. I really thought at the time he should have been playing more as well as Janish. However, maybe Dusty was right.

Hoosier Red
08-30-2011, 10:20 AM
I was actually thinking of Heisey last year. I really thought at the time he should have been playing more as well as Janish. However, maybe Dusty was right.

Now, I should point out that I still disagree with Dusty's philosophy.

As good as his baseball senses may be, he's not clairvoyant. If Matt Murton or Chris Heisey or Paul Janish or Yonder Alonso are more suspect than prospect, I'd rather actually see it than wait and wonder.

I'd rather have a clear picture on what positions they need to acquire and/or develop.

_Sir_Charles_
08-30-2011, 10:21 AM
Let's look at some stats!

August 2011:

Fred Lewis, age 30: 44 PAs, 4 hits (all singles), 5 BBs, 1 RBI, .103/.205/.103 for an OPS of .308.

Yonder Alonso, age 24: 32 PA's, 11 hits (2 doubles, 3 HRs, 6 singles), 6 BBs, and 8 RBIs, for a line of .423/.531/.846 and an OPS of 1.377.

Even given that Lewis is a better fielder, Alonso is 1000 OPS points higher this month, and that will outweigh the fielding difference by a good bit. Playing Alonso fits better with even the 'win now' philosophy than Lewis does. Alonso has had 6 total chances in left field this month. It is just plain wrong for Dusty to have written him off in left so quickly.

And for a good part of that month, Yonder was working on learning 3rd...not left. So maybe the comparison to Lewis is off target. Maybe he should be compared to Cairo?

My point is that I agree that Walt brought him up to PLAY. Left initially. And I would bet that after those 3 games in Chicago, Dusty & Walt talked about him there. Seems to me that they came to a consensus that he's simply not ready or suited for the outfield in the majors at least not yet. So they changed their tack. Yonder was still getting his work in, there's certainly no rush with this kid. I just don't see what all the fuss is about. People are complaining because Dusty's trying to win games instead of trying out the kids for next year? Seriously? Both can be done, but the first priority should always be to win the game.

mdccclxix
08-30-2011, 10:25 AM
Players should have to earn their jobs. But asking them to do so via an extremely brief major "try out" is a poor way to do it. Player performance simply fluctuates way too much, naturally so, over a handful of games for it to be a good indicator of what to expect from a a guy moving forward. Great players can play poorly for a few days. Poor ones can play great. And you can't tell which is which when it's happening if that's all you're going on. Nothing that happens over a few games is going to tell you something about a guy's readiness that you don't already know from his career to date.

If you want a guy to audition for a job at the major league level, you have to give him sufficient opportunity to show what he can do -- and what he can't. 2-3 starts a week and the odd PH appearance is not sufficient.

I think Dusty has show a great propensity for putting players in a spot to succeed. Many of his bench players have done well, and some have vaulted into starting roles. One thing he won't do is yank a veteran who already went through fire to get where he is in favor of a young upstart, especially if that upstart has dings in his game. Over the course of, say, 3-4 weeks, a young player on Dusty's team will find his way into the lineup against pitchers he can handle. He may not get the job outright, but if you look at Heisey's trajectory, he's had several extended chances to nail down LF, but hasn't quite accomplished that. I think if Joey Votto were Garrett Jones, Alonso would have stolen the majority of starts at 1b and run off with it. The way you are saying isn't optimal for introducing young players is quite often just the way it is, and often is better that way to protect that player. The exceptions are the Jay Bruces, Homer Bailey's of the world who have a load of reputation behind them.

Hoosier Red
08-30-2011, 10:30 AM
And for a good part of that month, Yonder was working on learning 3rd...not left. So maybe the comparison to Lewis is off target. Maybe he should be compared to Cairo?

My point is that I agree that Walt brought him up to PLAY. Left initially. And I would bet that after those 3 games in Chicago, Dusty & Walt talked about him there. Seems to me that they came to a consensus that he's simply not ready or suited for the outfield in the majors at least not yet. So they changed their tack. Yonder was still getting his work in, there's certainly no rush with this kid. I just don't see what all the fuss is about. People are complaining because Dusty's trying to win games instead of trying out the kids for next year? Seriously? Both can be done, but the first priority should always be to win the game.

That's a good point. I'm not sure how seriously they're taking this 3rd base experiment, but once they decided he wasn't going to play LF on a regular basis, they've tried to find somewhere where he can get his bat in the lineup.

mdccclxix
08-30-2011, 10:33 AM
It is simple.... A left fielder is going to have a chance to catch 300 balls in a season. A left fielder is going to realistically hold what, 25 runners a season? Give me the range over the arm.

And I can absolutely say Sappelt has the range so far. I have watched him play the last three seasons, over 200 times. Sappelt has PLUS range in center field. Much less in left. Much like Alonso, you simply haven't seen enough to get the full picture on his actual abilities.

Sappelt has some things to learn in LF, as we've seen so far. I really haven't thought of him as a CF at all, but he'd be in that Juan Pierre noodle arm class of CF's which is OK I guess, but not really what this team has grown accustomed to with Stubbs, who's awesome out there.

As for your number of 25 runners held per year, I wouldn't know where to begin finding that number or debating it, but I do know that more than 25 soft singles a year will be hit to LF, and when they are if Sappelt isn't ready to defend better he will continue to be abused out there. I hope he can do it. He's got a decent offensive set of skills.

mdccclxix
08-30-2011, 10:38 AM
Just an honest question here. Who did Bruce or Stubbs knock out of the lineup that should have been or should be starting ahead of them?

That's kind of what I mean, they were made way for. Bruce was the minors POY, they actually traded Griffey to spare him the indignity of being benched for the wunderkind Jay Bruce. Jay from CF to RF. Add Patterson/Taveras. They sucked. Bring up Stubbs. Stubbs kind of walked into a wasteland of CF's, but he was still handed the job.

Bumstead
08-30-2011, 11:29 AM
So in reading all of this, I guess some people feel it is better to have a chance to win a couple of extra games (an assumption of what would happen) with mediocrity in Cairo and Lewis vs the Reds actually finding out what they have in their young players (with again the assumption that their potential would result in less wins than continuing to play mediocrity)...What do the Reds gain there? Do they gain a fan for each of the two assumed wins? Dusty is fine managing a veteran ball club but he is miserable managing a team that is building toward long term winning. Dusty is about short term, the Reds are building for the long term. Time to remove the short term "thinker" and put someone in there that understands what the Reds are trying to accomplish. This year is gone and they are playing for nothing. I don't care if they win 85 games or 75 if they have no chance at the playoffs. The future is more important than having a winning record in 2011. I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand...

Bum

mdccclxix
08-30-2011, 12:06 PM
Is it purely a Walt and Dusty thing?


Baseball Operations

Baseball Operations Front Office

Bob Miller
Vice President and Assistant General Manager
Bill Bavasi
VP of Scouting, Player Dev. and International Ops
Jerry Walker
Vice President and Special Assistant to the GM
Dick Williams
Vice President of Baseball Operations
Joe Morgan
Senior Advisor to President of Baseball Operations

Major League Operations Staff

Eric Davis
Special Assistant to the General Manager
Mario Soto
Special Assistant to the General Manager
Nick Krall
Assistant Director of Baseball Operations
Sam Grossman
Manager of Baseball Research and Analysis
Rob Coughlin
Manager of Video Scouting
Stephanie Ben
Baseball Operations Assistant

Pro Scouting

Terry Reynolds
Senior Director of Professional and Global Scouting
Cam Bonifay
Special Assistant to the General Manager
"J" Harrison
Special Assistant to the General Manager
Marty Maier
Special Assistant to the General Manager
Mike Squires
Special Assistant to the General Manager

There are a lot of other folks involved with scouting our players, and other players, that are simply advising Walt, and/or Dusty. We don't know the half of it, I'm sure.

mdccclxix
08-30-2011, 12:16 PM
So in reading all of this, I guess some people feel it is better to have a chance to win a couple of extra games (an assumption of what would happen) with mediocrity in Cairo and Lewis vs the Reds actually finding out what they have in their young players (with again the assumption that their potential would result in less wins than continuing to play mediocrity)...What do the Reds gain there? Do they gain a fan for each of the two assumed wins? Dusty is fine managing a veteran ball club but he is miserable managing a team that is building toward long term winning. Dusty is about short term, the Reds are building for the long term. Time to remove the short term "thinker" and put someone in there that understands what the Reds are trying to accomplish. This year is gone and they are playing for nothing. I don't care if they win 85 games or 75 if they have no chance at the playoffs. The future is more important than having a winning record in 2011. I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand...

Bum

There are a variety of reasons the Reds are trying to win games.

a) They like to fashion themselves as beyond the rebuilding phase from 2008.
b) They need to prove to Cincinnati,and themselves, that they can win in back to back years.
c) They have a young staff that has a player chasing the ERA title, a fragile former top prospect, a pitch to contact young starter and a vet that gives up lot's of bombs. Defense matters.
d) They have a beat on the young players that you or I may not. Sappelt's defense is a good example, they knew it all along.
e) Waiving the white flag on the season before September is kind of an insult to the players. This FO has always treated it's players with dignity.
f) Dusty is not just going to hand the starting job to a player, he has to earn it.

Bumstead
08-30-2011, 12:58 PM
There are a variety of reasons the Reds are trying to win games.

a) They like to fashion themselves as beyond the rebuilding phase from 2008.
b) They need to prove to Cincinnati,and themselves, that they can win in back to back years.
c) They have a young staff that has a player chasing the ERA title, a fragile former top prospect, a pitch to contact young starter and a vet that gives up lot's of bombs. Defense matters.
d) They have a beat on the young players that you or I may not. Sappelt's defense is a good example, they knew it all along.
e) Waiving the white flag on the season before September is kind of an insult to the players. This FO has always treated it's players with dignity.
f) Dusty is not just going to hand the starting job to a player, he has to earn it.

This is short term thinking within a long term plan. Again with the defense...Sappelt is well above average defensively regardless of your 3 examples. Cairo, Lewis, Gomes, Renterria? Defensive wizards? Really? It's a bogus claim when these are the guys that have taken time from the future of this team. As to f, Dusty is the wrong guy for the job and the sooner Walt convinces Bob of that the better off this team will be. As to e, the team Dusty put on the field all season waived the white flag a long time ago on this season. There's no excuse for this team to be 13 games out and it's on Dusty's "decision making" and the players HE put in there not producing. So, maybe it's time for the veteran rubbish on this team to EARN THEIR SPOTS and let the kids play for a change. The veteran defensive wizards aren't getting it done so why do y'all keep supporting continuing to throw the same mediocrity onto the field when it doesn't matter and most likely the team will not lose any more games anyway (personally, I think they would be better surprisingly)?

Bum

redsmetz
08-30-2011, 01:11 PM
So in reading all of this, I guess some people feel it is better to have a chance to win a couple of extra games (an assumption of what would happen) with mediocrity in Cairo and Lewis vs the Reds actually finding out what they have in their young players (with again the assumption that their potential would result in less wins than continuing to play mediocrity)...What do the Reds gain there? Do they gain a fan for each of the two assumed wins? Dusty is fine managing a veteran ball club but he is miserable managing a team that is building toward long term winning. Dusty is about short term, the Reds are building for the long term. Time to remove the short term "thinker" and put someone in there that understands what the Reds are trying to accomplish. This year is gone and they are playing for nothing. I don't care if they win 85 games or 75 if they have no chance at the playoffs. The future is more important than having a winning record in 2011. I'm not sure why that is so hard to understand...

Bum

Your POV is rather narrow & short sighted. A successful season isn't solely going to the playoffs. Yes, that's the ultimate goal, the hoped for goal, year in and year out. But seasons such as this happen and as others have very capably pointed out, the Reds can ill afford to roll back to a record similar to the ten years previous to last. But winning games this year is critically important. Clearly you disagree, but I would suggest that your devil may care approach is the absolutely wrong position for a club coming off its first winning season in eons. You're welcome to not care, but the Reds front office has to look at the larger picture.

Bumstead
08-30-2011, 01:20 PM
Your POV is rather narrow & short sighted. A successful season isn't solely going to the playoffs. Yes, that's the ultimate goal, the hoped for goal, year in and year out. But seasons such as this happen and as others have very capably pointed out, the Reds can ill afford to roll back to a record similar to the ten years previous to last. But winning games this year is critically important. Clearly you disagree, but I would suggest that your devil may care approach is the absolutely wrong position for a club coming off its first winning season in eons. You're welcome to not care, but the Reds front office has to look at the larger picture.

And your narrow minded POV tells you that playing mediocre veterans will result in more wins than playing Sappelt, Frazier, Alonso and Heisey (when he returns). I believe the opposite to be true. These mediocre veterans have already proven to not be able to win games, why do we want to watch them anymore? The Reds have the future to think about and they can win just as many games with or without the mediocre veterans (that apparently get better defensively in posts on redzone.com than they have ever been on the field).

Your determination of my "narrow POV" was incorrect. I wonder why y'all think doing the same thing will result in a better Reds team even this season let alone next season?

Bum

Superdude
08-30-2011, 01:26 PM
Your POV is rather narrow & short sighted. A successful season isn't solely going to the playoffs. Yes, that's the ultimate goal, the hoped for goal, year in and year out. But seasons such as this happen and as others have very capably pointed out, the Reds can ill afford to roll back to a record similar to the ten years previous to last. But winning games this year is critically important. Clearly you disagree, but I would suggest that your devil may care approach is the absolutely wrong position for a club coming off its first winning season in eons. You're welcome to not care, but the Reds front office has to look at the larger picture.

Maybe there really is a lot of fans holding .500 record clinching parties, but I'll just say I've never met one of them. And like Mr. Bumstead said, even if we were shooting for a winning record, the vets haven't exactly shown capable of reaching that modest goal.

redsmetz
08-30-2011, 01:44 PM
Maybe there really is a lot of fans holding .500 record clinching parties, but I'll just say I've never met one of them. And like Mr. Bumstead said, even if we were shooting for a winning record, the vets haven't exactly shown capable of reaching that modest goal.

Mine isn't an argument for playing the vets over the youngsters. I disagree that such is the case as an overarching reality. Not with the Reds since Dusty's been at the helm. That remains, IMO, an urban myth. But, for instance, Cairo's playing time has been as a result of Rolen going down, although Frazier has seen a little bit of time there and now, of course, the Alonso experiment. Renteria is playing because Janish has stunk up the universe and Cozart got hurt. Certainly Gomes is someone Baker has been very fond of as a player. And it has been pointed out that a split of Gomes with some other players would have been the wisest move, but Baker has never shown a propensity to go with such things, no matter how much folks here would like a simple universe folks may want with the new metrics.

My point is solely that the Reds are looking to win as many games as possible, playoffs notwithstanding. It would be a mistake to do otherwise given our woeful recent history. Line-ups have been argued since Jesus assembled his squad of Apostles (who should bat lead off? Peter or James? What about that youngster John? Judas? He's a bum!). Dusty's not perfect, by any means, but his first and most important goal is winning games. That's his job. Like any manager, he may fail at that at any given time. He won't be the first nor will he be the last.

mdccclxix
08-30-2011, 02:07 PM
This is short term thinking within a long term plan. Again with the defense...Sappelt is well above average defensively regardless of your 3 examples. Cairo, Lewis, Gomes, Renterria? Defensive wizards? Really? It's a bogus claim when these are the guys that have taken time from the future of this team. As to f, Dusty is the wrong guy for the job and the sooner Walt convinces Bob of that the better off this team will be. As to e, the team Dusty put on the field all season waived the white flag a long time ago on this season. There's no excuse for this team to be 13 games out and it's on Dusty's "decision making" and the players HE put in there not producing. So, maybe it's time for the veteran rubbish on this team to EARN THEIR SPOTS and let the kids play for a change. The veteran defensive wizards aren't getting it done so why do y'all keep supporting continuing to throw the same mediocrity onto the field when it doesn't matter and most likely the team will not lose any more games anyway (personally, I think they would be better surprisingly)?

Bum

Sappelt is getting starts, he's not doing much with them offensively or defensively. It's not worth getting into subjective reviews of defense if you think Sappelt is great defensively, we just won't agree.

As for Gomes, he's definitely better than Alonso in LF, and probably as good as Sappelt too. I'll get toasted for that, but I think his experience has grown and he's faster than he looks. Sappelt's arm is a huge problem if you ask me.

Lewis is better than Alonso in LF. That's the other LH bat he's competing with.

Renteria was held on to too long, but eventually he and Janish were replaced by Cozart.

Cairo has been excellent this year and will be here next year too. Frazier is likely being held back because he looks vulnerable at the plate in certain matchups. If anyone deserves a better look, it's him, but Cairo again has been great this year. It's not hard to see how he's helping the Reds win games.

Again, the fact that these prospects can't crack the starting lineup isn't Dusty's fault. He'll play them where they have earned it and can succeed.

And if Alonso at 3b isn't trying for the future, for long term planning, I don't know what is.

Bumstead
08-30-2011, 02:18 PM
Lewis is better than Alonso in LF. That's the other LH bat he's competing with.

So...I will let the Gomes vs Sappelt defense go as it just proves my point regarding your argument about defense...

Lewis is hitting an empty .232 on the season and an empty .268 on his career. And I have actually watched his mediocre defense in LF. So, even if Alonso is well below average defensively which neither you nor I know one way or another based on 4 games, there is no way Alonso's hitting can overcome the "difference" in defensive abilities vs Lewis' lack of any offensive skills? Really? Of course, if Alonso works out at 3B that would be fine too. But my guess is that he played last night against one of the best lefties in the game and since he didn't get a hit he won't play tonight against arguably the best righty in the game. You know, cause Dusty is always putting guys in positions to succeed, right?

You know, Cub fans always want the veterans playing too. That way when they realize in the 5th inning from their drunken stupor that they are at a baseball game, they can still recognize the names of the players. I wonder how many times they have won in the last 100 or so years???

mdccclxix
08-30-2011, 02:54 PM
So...I will let the Gomes vs Sappelt defense go as it just proves my point regarding your argument about defense...

Lewis is hitting an empty .232 on the season and an empty .268 on his career. And I have actually watched his mediocre defense in LF. So, even if Alonso is well below average defensively which neither you nor I know one way or another based on 4 games, there is no way Alonso's hitting can overcome the "difference" in defensive abilities vs Lewis' lack of any offensive skills? Really? Of course, if Alonso works out at 3B that would be fine too. But my guess is that he played last night against one of the best lefties in the game and since he didn't get a hit he won't play tonight against arguably the best righty in the game. You know, cause Dusty is always putting guys in positions to succeed, right?

You know, Cub fans always want the veterans playing too. That way when they realize in the 5th inning from their drunken stupor that they are at a baseball game, they can still recognize the names of the players. I wonder how many times they have won in the last 100 or so years???

Dusty didn't want many plays coming his way, so he played Alonso when Bailey was pitching. It worked out perfectly. In another sense it let him see what Alonso does against quality lefties, making sure he's not a platoon player. As for Alonso's short stint in LF, it was just offensive to Dusty. And this team is/was on the brink of ending up with a terrible record. It's a point you'll have to accept in order to understand some of the decisions the Reds are making. The final record is important to them, and they have good reasons. In response to needing to play young guys, well there is a good chance the Reds already know what they have and now is not the time for learning and instruction - full tilt (ala 2007, 2008 or 2009 in August/Sept). Yonder in LF was letting in more runs than he could really make up at the plate. It was a bad series. Over the course of a season he could MAYBE come out ahead, but the cumulative effect on the pitching staff and psyche of the player may not be worth it. Plus, the Reds are in a spot, they need to win games - especially for the casual fan, who is not generally on these boards. We're all nuts. :beerme:

Bumstead
08-30-2011, 03:01 PM
Dusty didn't want many plays coming his way, so he played Alonso when Bailey was pitching. It worked out perfectly. In another sense it let him see what Alonso does against quality lefties, making sure he's not a platoon player. As for Alonso's short stint in LF, it was just offensive to Dusty. And this team is/was on the brink of ending up with a terrible record. It's a point you'll have to accept in order to understand some of the decisions the Reds are making. The final record is important to them, and they have good reasons. In response to needing to play young guys, well there is a good chance the Reds already know what they have and now is not the time for learning and instruction - full tilt (ala 2007, 2008 or 2009 in August/Sept). Yonder in LF was letting in more runs than he could really make up at the plate. It was a bad series. Over the course of a season he could MAYBE come out ahead, but the cumulative effect on the pitching staff and psyche of the player may not be worth it. Plus, the Reds are in a spot, they need to win games - especially for the casual fan, who is not generally on these boards. We're all nuts. :beerme:

You know, we may very well all be nuts on these boards, but I don't think the casual fan would really notice the difference between an 83-85 win team vs a 81-83 win team...and it never hurts for even the casual fan to catch the glint of the future that is to come for this Reds team.

Bum

Superdude
08-30-2011, 03:14 PM
You know, we may very well all be nuts on these boards, but I don't think the casual fan would really notice the difference between an 83-85 win team vs a 81-83 win team...and it never hurts for even the casual fan to catch the glint of the future that is to come for this Reds team.

Bum

This. I'm not arguing against Dusty. A few too many Lewis starts for my taste, but I think he's handled the kids okay. But the principle that the casual fan will lose interest if the team falls below .500 seems way off base in my opinion. The casual fan lost interest a long time ago, and no respectable finish is going to change the fact that we're completely irrelevant this season.

dougdirt
08-30-2011, 03:36 PM
In another sense it let him see what Alonso does against quality lefties, making sure he's not a platoon player.

God I hope not. Four at bats isn't enough to make such a determination at all. Even if Alonso went 4-4 with 4 HR's instead of his 0-4 with whatever he did.

wlf WV
08-30-2011, 08:45 PM
God I hope not. Four at bats isn't enough to make such a determination at all. Even if Alonso went 4-4 with 4 HR's instead of his 0-4 with whatever he did.
It's not like Alonso was the only Red ineffective at the plate last night,either.

I would have thought Janisch should play SS when Alonso plays 3rd,considering the difference of his range compared to Renteria.

Ron Madden
08-31-2011, 03:55 AM
If Walt and Dusty are on the same page the Reds are in deep... trouble.